Painting My Porch

This is a project that I’ve been wanting to tackle since my house was painted last summer.  The brown porch floor was not doing my brand-new navy house any favors.  I think it had something to do with the warm brown and the cool navy.  Plus, the old paint job was starting to chip in places, mostly due to water getting under the paint.

I did my research online and decided to go with Sherwin Williams paint– if I’m going to paint the porch, I don’t want to have to repaint it next year.  This needs to last a few years.  And I just happened to get crazy l lucky because the paint I purchased was hugely discounted because SW only keeps paint for three years, so my usually $45 paint was $5.  Yeah, it was amazing.  It’s a Porch & Floor Enamel made for wood or concrete.

This is a fairly easy task, unless you’re current paint job is in terrible shape.

1. First off, clean the porch.  I swept it several times, then I washed it down (rag wasn’t dripping wet) with water and let it dry.

2. Then use a paint scraper and get all the loose chips up.  Everything you can scrape up must go.

3. Then I hand sanded (80 grit) to smooth out the ridges where the paint chipped up.

4.  It was recommended by SW that I use an oil-based primer over the bare wood parts.  Oil holds better.  But I only had water-based primers, so I just went with Zissner (because I love it and only needed it in a couple places).

5. I let the primer dry completely, then I applied wood filler to even out the ridges.

6. Let that dry for an hour or so and used a very fine sanding block to get the excess wood filler off.

7. Then I edged around the porch with the paint and went back and rolled the paint.  Roll each side of the porch and then roll the middle section (by the door/stairs) and essentially work yourself right off the porch.

As it started to dry I worried that I would need to apply a second coat, but after letting it fully dry it definitely only needed one coat.  It dried to the touch in an hour and after four hours I lightly walked over the surface and it seemed okay.  The paint recommends that you wait 24 hours to walk on it, but mine seemed to be fine with light foot traffic after about eight hours.

SO much better than the brown.

I didn’t know how I felt about painting the concrete porch steps along with the porch, but I think it will make a huge difference.  That’ll be a project for another weekend though because it rained here last week and there is too much moisture in the concrete for it to be painted right now.  But you can imagine it, right?

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Suction Cup Window Bird Feeder

I saw the plans for this bird feeder on Ana White.  Seriously, if you haven’t seen the free building plans on her website, go check them out now.  Her site is where I found the plans for my Farmhouse Table.

So I saw THIS bird feeder and knew that I had to make it.  What an easy gift for my parents (who happen to love feeding birds, squirrels, or anything else that tries to access the feeders).

Click THIS LINK to see the supplies you’re going to need.

What to do:

1. Cut your wood.  Drill a hole in the main piece near a corner and use your jigsaw (they’re cheap if you need to buy one, and awesome) to cut out the interior hole.  Then lightly sand the edges to make everything smooth.

2. Use wood glue to assemble your bird feeder.

3. I waited for the glue to dry, then I used a few finishing nails to secure the pieces– just to make sure nothing was going to come apart in the weather.  Two on the backside to attach the base, one (or two) on the roof, and one on each side of the bottom bird-feeder part.

4. Use your drill to make some holes for your suction cups on the back.  I didn’t have a drill bit that was quite big enough for my suction cups, so I got creative and drilled down and a little sideways to make it work.

5. I used a cheap foam brush to apply a walnut stain from Minwax.

6. Then I used Thompson’s Water Seal spray.  It looked just like this, but in a spray can (although I found it in the store next to the rest of the sealers, not in the spray paint section.

7. Let it dry completely.  Then I used Liquid Nails to attach the suction cups to the back.  Make sure that they’re in there good and tight, then let the glue cure (8+ hours).

Then you’re done!  Just push the feeder up against a window and fill it with bird seeds.

*Be careful when you pull the feeder off the window.  Try to reach around and disengage the suction cups before you pull– otherwise you could pull the suction cups out from the bird feeder.  Yeah, that happened to me.